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Muddy Waters

Your blood carries rivers
From wells of human understanding

Every pump of your heart sends them

Racing through you:

The Cherokee whose Trail of Tears

Left her open to love with the enemy

The Purépecha, bronze and quiet,
Their flat noses forcing your abuelo’s family
To concede that, perhaps, some of their children
Might like to tilt their jug of water
into masa for tortillas de maíz

Instead of pillowy dough for White bread

Amama, who was carried in darkness
Away from her home over the sea, where the blood
Of a thousand years of the fierce Euskalduna

Continued to circulate in her confused veins

Tata abuelo who put his body between
A bullet and the Revolution
After the government gave his farm
Back to the People.
Stream trickling through the mill wheelhouse

Empty of sugar

Further back, Spaniards, but first Jews,
Scattering like drops of anointed oil
When the water of the washbasin hit them.

One more incarnation of the Oldest Story

And closer, waves crashing into each other
Mixing spray and salt and bits of ocean treasure
Broken down until you cannot tell what it was

When it entered the dark depths

Hungarians looking for the promise of a land of
Immigrants, open for the taking.
Germans and English and Scottish and Italian

Swiss and Basque and who knows

I wonder if I dilute you
A mother of muddied waters
A confluence of streams
That spring from unknown underground sources
Skin of a thousand pigments
Eyes that changed from brown to green
Even the windows to my soul

Prone to shifting with the tides

Who are you, who can claim
Molecules from everyplace making rivulets
That rush through you

Where is Home for the River?

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